View Full Version : Displacement map problem

05 May 2009, 08:02 PM
Hi there,

I'm pretty new to Zbrush but have been getting some nice results from playing around with it.

I've made a couple of models purely in Zbrush, beginning with Zspheres and then sculpting the mesh.

I've now got a model with 6 Subdivision levels which I want to export to either 3DS Max or C4D (either is fine).

I just cannot begin to figure out how to get the displacement maps out. I've searched all over the web for tutorials or guides and while I have found plenty, they are usually either written for outdated versions or just cover the subject lightly.

I'm using Zbrush 3.12 on Mac and one big problem I'm finding is that a lot of the guides say to use the Tool > Texture for some of the steps, yet I don't have that paletter, I only have Tool>Texture Map which doesn't contain the buttons they refer to.

I have managed to get a disp map out and into Cinema 4D but when I apply it in C4D it doesn't resemble anything even close to what it did in Zbrush so I'm pretty sure I'm doing something wrong.

This is as far as I've got:

1. Create model in Zbrush.
2. Drop to lowest level of SubD and Export OBJ.
3. Choose number of SubD's in Tool>Displacement and click 'Create DispMap'
4. Click 'Clone DisMap' and from the Alpha palette, export it as PSD / TIFF file.
5. Open OBJ in C4D, add PSD / TIFF Displacement Map to texture
6. Play around with settings on DispMap all to no avail
7. Pull hair out.

I'm running out of patience (and hair) with this so if someone could either point me in the direction of a comprehensive guide that doesn't refer to the non-existent Tool>Texture palette, or alternatively give me a idiot-proof step by step then I would be most appreciative.

Like I say, instructions for either C4D or Max are fine as I use both and to be honest have no preference at this stage while I'm still getting to know the software.

Many thanks

05 May 2009, 06:50 AM
Hi :)
What's your map look like when you open it with Photoshop? I ask this question because you forgot the step related to the UVs in your message :)

You also have to vertically flip your map before exporting or in C4D, because all ZBrush's maps are vertically flipped.

For your displacement on render time, you have nothing at all or you don't have the expected result. I'm sorry, I can't help on C4D side, I don't use it at all...

05 May 2009, 01:12 PM
i had similar problems exporting a displacement map. the last thing i had to get nailed down was establishing the UV mapping.

step 0 (in max)
create low-poly model, add UVW unwrap modifier, edit/ tools/ uvw template / render uv template/ save as. export as OBJ with UV's set up.

step 0 (in maya)
create low-poly model, select model, open UV Texture editor to look at UV's. export as OBJ with UV's set up.

that model, when it's imported into ZBrush & sculpted, will have the UV's set up. then when you drop down to lower subD level to create the displacement map, it uses the template already established.

after creating the displacement map, it's good to look at them in Photoshop, to see how they compare to the stock template (for example the one created in "render UV template" in max.

then there's the subject of what gray-scale level represents what displacement. i think in Maya RGB = 127, 127, 127 = no displacement, whereas in Max black (0,0,0) corresponds to no displacement. maybe ZBrush has a setting for that. i've just been using levels in Photoshop to modify the displacement map for use in Max.

one other workaround is to use the ZMapper & create a normal map, then use Crazy bump (third party ap) to convert the normal map to a displacement map.

05 May 2009, 02:06 PM
Thanks for the replies,

I think the problems I am having are caused by two things. Firstly, as you have pointed out, I missed the step on creating (or checking) the UV map, and as the model is created in ZBrush and not brought in from Max I was having trouble figuring out that side of things.

The second problem is that I'm using 3.12 on Mac, and the guides I have found refer to either older versions, or the Windows version.

The Tool>Texture palette is non-existent in 3.12 OS X version, it's closest alternative I think is the Tool>Texture Map which is different.

I've figured it out now!

Thanks again for the replies.

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